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Week of January 8, 2024 – Legislative Alerts from NH Lakes

HB 1301, relative to wakesurfing on public bodies of water

This bill allows a group of 25 or more residents or property owners of a town in which a lake, pond, or river is located to petition the New Hampshire Department of Safety to prohibit or restrict wake surfing on the lake, pond, or river, or a portion of the waterbody. Based on a public hearing, the Department would decide whether to issue any restrictions.

NH LAKES supports this bill as it is consistent with the petition process that is already in place to regulate other activities on our waterbodies in areas where there are particular safety, navigational, or ecological considerations. Wakeboats supporting the activity of wakesurfing produce wakes that are significantly larger than most conventional boats. When wakesurfing is conducted in relatively shallow areas and close to shore, these larger wakes lead to increased shoreline erosion and disturbance of lake bottom sediments, degrading lake health and potentially contributing to cyanobacteria blooms. These enhanced wakes can also disturb critical fish and bird nesting habitats.

HB 1301 Hearing Information:

  • Date: Wednesday, January 10, 2024
  • Time: 10:00 a.m.
  • Committee: House Resources, Recreation and Development

Location: Room 305, Legislative Office Building, Concord, New Hampshire


HB 1293, relative to prohibiting the use of certain fertilizers using phosphorus

This bill establishes that fertilizer containing the nutrient phosphorus can only be purchased at retail stores in New Hampshire for establishing new lawns, for repairing a lawn, for seeding, or for use when a soil test indicates a phosphorus deficiency.

It requires, in some cases, that retailers post signage that states:

“Phosphorus runoff poses a threat to water. Most New Hampshire soils provide all the phosphorus that a home lawn needs. Under New Hampshire law, fertilizers shall not be applied to a lawn unless applied to a new lawn or lawn that is deficient for phosphorus, as indicated by a soil test. State law prohibits the use of fertilizer containing phosphorus within 25 feet of any and all water surfaces and storm drains.”


NH LAKES supports this bill as phosphorus runoff into our lakes and rivers degrades water quality and can contribute to cyanobacteria blooms.

HB 1293 Hearing Information:

  • Date: Monday, January 8, 2024
  • Time: 10:00 a.m.
  • Committee: House Environment and Agriculture

Location: Rooms 301 – 303, Legislative Office Building, Concord, New Hampshire


HB 1304, relative to vessel registration and boat fee decals

This bill modifies the procedure for the registration of vessels by requiring the issuance and display of a boat fee decal for the payment of boat fees in addition to the issuance and display of a boat registration decal. This will result in New Hampshire complying with federal law. It will protect the New Hampshire Marine Patrol from losing critical federal funding and provide a way for the state to legally collect fees for other critical programs, including invasive species control and prevention programs for our lakes.

HB 1304 Hearing Information:

  • Date: Tuesday, January 9, 2024
  • Time: 1:00 p.m.
  • Committee: House Transportation

Location: Room 203, Legislative Office Building, Concord, New Hampshire


New Hampshire Plastic Working Group issues alerts on bills addressing single use plastics, a renewed bottle bill initiative, and the sale of products containing PFAs.


HB 1207 (Hearing 1:15 PM) Title: relative to single-use disposable plastic foodware accessories.


From Rep. Tony Caplan. This bill prohibits certain food service facilities from having self serve/self-service disposable plastic foodware accessory dispensers, and from providing or offering disposable plastic foodware accessories to any customer, except upon request of that customer. Sponsored by Reps Caplan, Parshall, Bixby, Dutzy and others.


HB 1636 (Hearing 1:45 PM) Title: relative to creating the New Hampshire container deposit, refund, recycle, and reuse system.

Establishing a redemption refund program for consumers, with the aim of improving the equity and access of the redemption and recycling system for beverage containers, and promoting reuse and recycling in the state.


HB 1649 (Hearing 2:15 PM) Title: relative to prohibiting certain products with intentionally added PFAS.


Supported by the Solid Waste Working Group (the state solid waste stakeholder group), NH Municipal Association, NH Public Health Association, firefighters, environmental groups (like CLF), many waste waste treatment and drinking water operators, and others in the solid waste industry. PFAS are everywhere, are extremely harmful, and they never go away. The only way to stop the spread of PFAS is to stop using it in the products we use.


Ways to express your voice (with thanks to our friends at NH Lakes!):


1. Register Your Support Online!

  • Go to the NH General Court:
  • Scroll to Meeting Resources, House Sign-in Form, and Online Testimony submission: 
  • Fill in your personal information.
  • Refer to the hearing information listed above to enter the date, committee, bill number, and time of the hearing.
  • Indicate your support of the bill.
  • You will have the option to upload a letter of support or paste in a statement of support. A few sentences about why you support the bill can make a big impact.
  • Review and submit.

2. Attend the Hearing and Register Your Support!

You don’t have to speak at the public hearing, but our lakes must have a large crowd standing up to support these bills. There is a sign-up sheet in the hearing room where you can register your support.

3. Attend the Hearing and Share Your Personal Story in Support!

A one to two-minute personal story from you at the hearing about why you support a bill can leave a lasting impression on committee members. Call or email me if you plan to testify so we can coordinate our talking points. And I’d happily tell you what to expect at the hearing.

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